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This is W.A.R. Hardcover – July 2, 2013

3.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This ideal beach read opens with a shocker: someone has drowned “Club princess” Willa Ames-Rowan during Hawthorn Leak Country Club’s July Fourth celebration, and then the Captain, patriarch of the Gregory dynasty, starts paying off everyone who suspects his grandson James. Four different teen socialites—Madge (Willa’s stepsister), Lina (a closet lesbian), Sloane (“the perfect Stepford Asian daughter”), and Rose (the daughter of a club staff member, who bears faux respect without wealth—have four different reasons for wanting revenge. So they form a club, with each kicking in $25,000 in an effort to take down the Gregorys. But in an atmosphere of secrets, cover-ups, and male domination, it is a hard-fought war. This mystery, told in the girls’ alternate perspectives, reveals each teen’s weaknesses, relationship to Willa, and even possible motive in her friend’s death. Although the real killer may be easy to spot, the fun comes from the progressively more challenging cat-and-mouse games on both sides of the battle. Bonus for Gossip Girl fans: there’s plenty of “Botox, boobs, and bitches,” too. Grades 9-12. --Angela Leeper


Praise for This Is W.A.R.

-Teen Vogue Hottest YA Books Pick-

"This action-packed pageturner has it all: romance, friendship, and a twisted mystery that kept us on the edge of our seats until the last page."
—Justine Magazine

“With twists and turns on just about every page, This Is W.A.R. will have you on the edge of your seat, guessing until the very end. It's the YA mystery I've been waiting for.”
—Liz Norris, author of Unraveling

“[This Is W.A.R. explores] important questions about money, power and privilege.”
—Kirkus Reviews

This Is W.A.R. was an exciting read with perfect proportions of dark secrets and light humor.... Take a break from balmy beach romances and give this mystery a try!”

“I was hooked and kept reading—needing to know more about each girl and their secrets.”
—Girls in the Stacks
“I was so engrossed I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”
Luna’s Little Library
“These two authors have created characters that rhyme. That fit together. These four girls are so different, yet, you could see them as best friends anytime. The action in this book drowned you in it, you get immersed in the story and you just don't want to let go.”
Insomnia of Books

“One of my favorite reads so far this year. This Is W.A.R. by Lisa and Laura Roecker will knock your socks off!”
—Elena Johnson, author of the Possession series

This Is W.A.R. sidestepped several clichés, both by flipping them and by embracing them, and I loved the way the story unfolded, slowly revealing more secrets than just what was going on with the Gregorys... I stand with Willa and all the other women like her. All the women—and men—who are victims of people rich enough to buy silence, people who manipulate the truth and poison justice.” 
—Kirkus Book Report

“A fun mystery.... the spotlight shining on the lifestyle and problems of the rich and famous (or just the rich) makes for enjoyable reading. Is justice that different for the extremely wealthy? Read this novel and think about it.”
—The Examiner

“The plot and pacing were spot on—keeping me turning the pages and racing through the novel in only two sittings. Definitely give this one a read!”

“I adored this book. It was a great heart pounding mystery that had me hooked from the very first page.”
—Rachel Reads

This Is W.A.R. is yet another fast-paced novel by Lisa and Laura Roecker shrouded in mystery and suspense... an addictive mystery full of lies, dirty money, and a truth just begging to get to the surface.” 
—Our Thoughts Precisley 

“Murder? Vigilante justice? Innocence lost? Battles won? Destruction on the horizon? Yup, must read it.”
—Literary Me

Praise for Lisa and Laura Roecker

"The authors create lively and memorable characters and keep the action moving."Publishers Weekly

"A smartly paced and plotted first novel, full of twists, clues, and sleuthing. Add this to your go-to list of mysteries, and expect readers to clamor for a follow-up to this sister duo's first novel."Booklist

"A book for mystery lovers everywhere. The Roecker sisters' debut will suck you in and leave readers hanging until the very end. Danger and thrills, romance and horror will keep you entertained. A great read for a rainy day."—RT Book Reviews

"The Liar Society is full of boarding school awesome, secret societies, and misunderstood hot teen boys. It takes a very unique plot for me to enjoy a contemporary YA and The Liar Society has unique coming out of the author's little pink brains."—Bookalicious

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Teen; 1st edition (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161695261X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616952617
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,397,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This was another book that had potential that seemed to fall flat. This idea of these girls who wanted to avenge their friends death was one of those simple idea's that you could turn on it's head and make great. I think what went wrong with this book was that the author fell into all the horrible cliche's of the lower class minority who doesn't belong with her cheating mother and her upper crust party girl friend who meets her untimely demise. There wasn't much that made the characters unique. You had the typical lower class minority girl, the dumb one, the super bitchy one, the rich party girl, and the "get away with anything" family. Need I say more?

I really loved the cover and I think that along with the first chapter, the book really pulled you in and this was what kept me going and reading this book. The use of the flashbacks of the characters to the night of the murder was also a really clever technique, that helped show all the secrets that these girls were hiding from each other.

I didn't care too much for the characters, they all seemed very flat and superficial. Sure they were all really upset about Willa dying, but I just couldn't really feel the revenge that they were seeking. The book was terribly predictable, and while I liked the "Revenge" style plot, it did little to wow me. Sometimes the hardest review's are for books that didn't really move us in either way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So this is one of those guilty pleasure books that you can read in a couple of hours, maybe on the beach or maybe curled up in your favorite reading spot during a thunderstorm. And I had the added pleasure of actually reading one of the books I purchased!! Nobody fall off their chairs or anything. I did it twice this week. Don't choke on your morning coffee. I didn't feel the world stop turning but I'm sure a few stars shot across the sky in glee. So back to the book. I was ridiculously happy reading this book about revenge against two rich boys that get away with treating girls badly and now killing Willa Ames-Rowan. I love guys! I really do. I married one and I have two boys. But really, I love nothing better than when a girl or girls get even with a guy or guys who really deserve it! I don't know why. Maybe because I'm reliving my teenage years when I was always the dumped instead of the dumper?? I don't know I just know I love it when a girl gets her justified revenge! So sit back and enjoy this one on the beach or after a messy break up or just because!

The characters in this one are numerous, but we get to know each one really well because each one narrates for several chapters. It isn't confusing at all because each girl has a chance to tell her story and her connection to Willa and what she knows about the night she died. After her narration is done, someone else picks up the story and that character is seen through the eyes of the next narrator. It works very well for this story.
-The characters are Rose, who isn't exactly a member of the country club. Her mother runs it but won't let her fraternize with the help. She wants Rose to make connections with the rich kids her age so she can climb the social ladder. That isn't what Rose wants.
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Format: Hardcover
From the moment I read the first page of this story I felt like I had stepped back into a time when I sat on the classroom floor completely enamored with my teacher as her smooth voice filled the room and she began a story that we would all become immersed in, hanging onto every last word of the story until the very end. Sighing when it came to an end, a little sad that it was over but completely satisfied with the ending.

This story reminded me why I love mysteries so much and exactly what I have been missing lately with all the other genres I have been reading. I miss the twists and unexpected turns a good mystery takes. The suspense of finally knowing whodunnit and the sweet victory of figuring out who it was before it was revealed.

I love that this was told in all four girls point of views as the story seamless flows and comes together as they plot to get revenge on the Gregory family. All four stories lead up to a back flash of that fateful night that Willa was murdered. Four girls all friends thrown together by Willa herself. Four girls with deep dark secrets of their own and four girls that couldn't be more different from one another if they tried and yet, still have so much in common that their missmesh of personalities blend together to create a strong bond that would hold up to the test of time and tragedy.

I loved how each girl dealt with their sense of loss, their anger, their fear and their sorrow as they each tried to gain closure and to understand what happened to Willa that awful night.

The authors did an amazing job and really did remind me why there needs to be more suspenseful mysteries in this genre. I really look forward to reading something by this duo again.
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Format: Hardcover
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

This is W.A.R by Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

At Hawthorne Lake Country Club your trust fund can't buy you happiness, but if it's big enough, it almost always buys innocence. When Willa Ames-Rowan drowns in Hawthorne Lake everyone who's anyone knows James Gregory is the one who killed her. But no one will ever say a word. Enter The W.A.R. Four girls, four motives to avenge Willa's death, and only one rule: Destroy the Gregory brothers at any cost. The girls pool their trust funds and devise a series of elaborate pranks to deliver their own particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won, but it's the truth about what really happened that night that stands to destroy them all.

What I Liked:

This book was... interesting, to say the least. I like the whodunit feel of the book, even though we as readers DO know who commits the crime (or we THINK we do). Everybody thinks that they know who drowned Willa. It's no secret that everyone believe James Gregory did it.

There are many characters in this book, and all of the characters are very different. Rose is the first character introduced. It is clear that she harbors feelings for the one and only James Gregory, but she tries to avoid him, since he is the supposed criminal. She tries to avoid ALL of the Gregory men, especially after the weird scene she saw between her mother and James's grandfather, the Captain.

Madge is the other primary character that learn more about as the book goes on.
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